Common Iora – a sub species unique to Singapore

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Common Iora. Male

The humble Common Iora ( Aegithina tiphia) is common in our parks and gardens and can be even seen along tree lined roads in our heartlands. But this charming native songbird has a range of delightful calls and striking plumage to make it a favorite among bird watchers. Its loud lingering whistle is the first indication of its presence. They are active feeders moving from leave to leave seeking small caterpillars among the foliage. Getting a good photo can be challenging. Nest is a small ball cup made up of dry grasses and leaves glued on to a small branch. They have been seen hosting our resident cuckoos giving us those dramatic photos of them feeding the young cuckoos twice their size.

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Old Bird Group Logo designed by Sunny Yeo on T-shirt

It is the only representative of its family here when the Green Iora (Aegithina viridissima) went extinct from the island in 1970. The sub species recorded here is the Singaporensis, a name given to reflect its uniqueness here. This is why the Bird Group adopted it as its logo before the Nature Society (Singapore) decided to have a uniformed logo of all the interest groups. All we have to remind us of this is the T-shirt that was printed with the logo for one of the past Bird Races. So those who still owns this special T-shirt should take good care of it.

Ref: The Avifauna of Singapore. Lim Kim Seng 2009.

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